Kara Lawson is certain she’ll relate to Boston Celtics players once she learns to speak their language.
The Celtics assistant coach told The Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn last week learning the team’s basketball terminology is the biggest early challenge in her new role. The Celtics hired Lawson as an assistant coach under head coach Brad Stevens last week, and she’s busy translating the basketball language she has learned during her playing, coaching and broadcasting careers into Celtics-ese.
“The terminology I know is different than the terminology we use here and I need to be able to speak to the players in the terminology we use here,” Lawson said. “That?s my biggest challenge and it will come eventually, but I?m not very patient. I?m not waiting for it. I want it to hurry up.”
Lawson, the Celtics’ first female coach in the team’s 73-year history, believes her vast experience as a player will help Celtics coaches smooth, or at least contain, any friction among the players that might arise during the season.
“Everyone on this staff is elite and we all bring different perspectives,” Lawson told Washburn. “My perspective that I try to bring is I?ve been there. I?ve won a championship (2005 with the WNBA Sacramento Monarchs), I?ve played almost any role that you can possibly play on a team. I?ve been a rookie where I didn?t play a lot. I?ve been a point guard where I started every game and we made it to the conference finals, and I?ve been a sixth man more years than I wanted to be, so I can relate.
“Most of the things that they?ve experienced emotionally I?ve experienced, too. I cannot just understand but I can relate to their ups and downs.”
Stevens admitted to doing a “bad job” over the course of the 2018-19 season, and he later said his failure to make the team’s various wing players fit together was the “bottom line” of Boston struggles.
The Celtics’ recent roster upheaval should quell any lingering discord. Should new tiffs arise among players, Lawson will use her keen eye to help return various personalities to what should be their main focus: winning.